Emeryville's Street-Food Task Force Nearing Formal Recommendations

Members of the Emeryville task force looking at street-food regulations say they're one or two meetings away from drafting formal recommendations to the City Council. The 13-member body ― culled from the ranks of truck vendors, restaurant owners, city council members, and citizen-eaters. They've been meeting since mid-October, tasked with suggesting fixes to Emeryville's mobile vending regulations after some brick-and-mortar proprietors complained that the influx of trucks represented unfair competition.

The main issue seems to be proximity, the distance from a brick and mortar a truck can legitimately operate, 200 feet under Emeryville's existing ordinance. Gail Lillian, owner of the Liba truck, declined to mention specific recommendations the task force is close to endorsing, but she did say the process has given both street vendors and restaurant owners a better understanding of each other. “There was some mistaken information about the rules we had to operate under,” she says “Maybe a restaurant would say, 'You're too close to me,' and we'd say, 'This is how far I'm allowed to be,' and they'd say, 'Oh.' Sometime it takes a task force to launch that communication between businesses.”

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